Dear Editor:The recent articles, as well as letters to the editor, about the proposed Montessori charter all have indicated that the underlying factor for starting the charter is to segregate from the Latino population. This kind of rhetoric is completely false and personally offensive to my husband and myself. We are parents who will no longer tolerate substandard education for our two children. We are a mother and father who want to provide our children the best education we can and do not want to outsource it to the private sector or other districts in the valley. The simple fact is that parents have been sending their children outside the Carbondale school system for more than 15 years. It is the children who live in Carbondale, but are not being educated in Carbondale, that are “fleeing.” We believe the steering committee for Ross Montessori want the children of Carbondale to stay within the community for their education. If the steering committee wanted to “segregate” themselves from the community, they would have done so by choosing private education, not a public charter.The “no child left behind” act was passed in 2002 because public schools were and still are failing across America. The simple truth is Carbondale Elementary has been failing long before now and the RE-1 school district has turned a blind eye, but can no longer do so, due to the “No Child Left Behind” legislation. It is time to realize that America’s public schools need a lot more than a billion dollars of legislation to be successful.We believe the steering committee for Ross Montessori wants to provide another choice in public education for the children of Carbondale. Charter schools are the solution, not the problem, with public education. “One of the promises of charter schools is that they can serve as laboratories of innovation. They can be public education’s “R&D” arm, because they have greater autonomy than traditional public schools, and since they tend to attract pioneering educators, they can try out new approaches to education that, if proven effective, can be transplanted back into the larger public education system. (Rod Paige, U.S. secretary of education, June 2004, Innovations in Education: Successful Charter Schools).Charter schools all over the country are allowing children in public education an opportunity that before was only available in the private sector. My husband and I applaud the efforts of the Ross Montessori steering committee, and truly appreciate their commitment in offering a choice in education to all the children of Carbondale.John and Molly KienastCarbondale
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